Reporting Rachel Slavik
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It may be summer, but the Minnesota Wild just became the hottest ticket in town. With Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed to 13-year deals, fans are expecting a winning season.
In the Wild’s ticket sales office, the telephone is dialed in to fan anticipation.
“We pick up the phone, they’re ready to buy,” said Emily Iversen, who works in the office. “We hang up, someone else calls in on the main line.”
Since Wednesday, sales have reached over a thousand.
“We had no idea. I knew this was exciting, but you really don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, especially on a holiday,” Iversen said.
Jon Richards, a first-time ticket holder, says he’s excited about the coming season.
“The number one defensive player and number one scorer, and we have them on our team, it’s like hallelujah,” Richards said.
Richards bought his first 10 pack of weekend games shortly after the announcement came that Parise and Suter joined the team.
For weeks, he wondered if Parise would return home. During a recent autograph signing, Richards’ daughter put pressure on the Minnesota native to join the Wild.
“She said, ‘Zach, will you please come here? Will you come?’ He goes, ‘Well, we’re trying to make it possible,’” Richards said.
The possibility became a reality, and now the Wild are trying to keep up.
In addition to ticket sales, there is also a pressing need for Parise and Suter jerseys. On the shelves for only a few hours, sales have already topped 120. Already, Wild fans are buying into the hope of a winning season.
“I’m excited. I want to support the team,” said Shawn Longacre. “They’re making efforts to have quality players on the ice, and I want to be one of the first to have a Parise jersey.”
The Wild said the last time there was this much excitement for an upcoming season was in 2000, the inaugural year.